December 28, 2011 by Alice in Readerland
“Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his hard life dodging fishwives brooms and carriage wheels and trade his damp alley for the warmth of the Cheshire Cheese Inn. When he learns that the innkeeper is looking for a new mouser, Skilley comes up with an audacious scheme to install himself in the famous tavern. Once established in the inn, Skilley strikes a bargain with Pip, the intelligent mouse-resident, and his fellow mice. Skilley protects the mice and the mice in turn give to Skilley the delectable Cheshire cheese of the inn. Thus begins a most unlikely alliance and friendship. The cat and mouse design a plan to restore Maldwyn wounded raven and faithful guard in the service of Queen Victoria to his rightful place in The Tower, but first they must contend with a tyrannical cook, a mouse-despising barmaid, and an evil tomcat named Pinch. Will the famous author suffering from serious writer s block who visits the Cheshire Cheese pub each day be able to help?”
Title: The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale
Written By: Carmen Agra Deedy, and Randall Wright
Illustrated By: Barry Moser
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Pub Date: October, 1st, 2011
Imprint: A middle grade novel from Peachtree Publishers
Hardcover: $16.95 USD
Size: 6 x 8
This book is utterly charming.
Skilley, the alley cat with a secret, and Pip, the intelligent mouse, make a delightful duo that readers will find an immediate liking to.
Other characters are also well developed, such as the cute little mouse named ‘Too’; “As in ‘too loud, too curious, too impulsive’. If one can be too much of anything, that’s Too.” to quote Pip on page 47.
The interactions between Skilley, Pip (and the rest of the mice), and Maldwyn the raven are adorable (as well as the various human perspectives on everything) and the setting is amazing.
On many pages there are detailed pen and ink illustrations that really make the story. The illustrations really help you envision the already-loveable characters. Skilley and Pip also cross paths with Dickens, the author who is desperate to find an opening line for his story. Readers also get to peek at Dickens papers, which has some hilarious lines about the writing process that every writer will recognize and every reader will enjoy.
Filled with both laughable and touching moments, I would definitely recommend The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale. Although a middle-grade novel, this has both the intelligence and cuteness quotients to charm the whole family.
Cynical Cindy Says:
I’m cynical, but I have a hard time being cynical about books that have cats as main characters in them.
5 out of 5 teacups.
Check out the book’s website!